Paid Surveys


Post-recession, a lot of workers started looking for ways to earn extra cash. While most side gigs won’t supplant the steady cashflow of a regular job, they can pad a paycheck that hasn’t seen a significant boost in a few years. Paid surveys are often mentioned as one way to earn a few extra dollars fast. But are paid surveys a legitimate way to make money – or are they scams? The answer is that it depends on the survey and the company you are taking them for.

One of the oldest and longest running survey sites, Vindale Research is a legitimate option for making some money from filling out surveys. Based in New York, the company offers both traditional surveys and evaluations, by testing products or online services. It’s free to sign up, and surveys pay between $1 and $5 each and product testing starts at $5 and moves up from there. The site claims significantly higher rates of pay, but as this involves slightly inflated pricing, for example discounting fees you may have to pay out to join subscription sites before receiving your end payout, they won’t be included here.
The site will even allow you to monetise your internet searches, if you swap from Google or Safari to their own search engine. The Swagbucks search engine, which is actually running Yahoo, will pay you Swagbucks every time you search. For games, there are options like Scrabble and Wheel of Fortune, which won’t pay you much, but could be worth a go if you fancied playing a game anyway! Swagbucks TV allows you to watch advertising videos on a range of topics, including news, fitness and entertainment. There’s a snag – your earnings are capped at 150 Swagbucks, but it is worth a look if you’re prone to wasting time watching viral clips.
Pinecone asks for your address because your first payout is sent via check to your address. After a few surveys they offer you a paypal option. As far as sending products to test, these are related to the survey you take. I have been with them for a year and they have only sent a few things for me to try out. In the survey, they ask if you would mine trying the product and you can decline. Pinecone is a great company to do surveys with. I highly recommened them!
Unlike many sites, Valued Opinions doesn’t offer you the chance to take cash rewards, at the moment limiting users to retail vouchers and gift cards. Electronic vouchers are usually with you within 24 hours but gift cards can take four to six weeks to arrive in the post. Once $10 has been earned, you can claim Amazon vouchers, Macy’s gift cards and Visa promo codes, among many other reward options dependant on your location. Surveys are said to be varied, but the gift card options less so, so check they are for stores you’ll want to shop in before you tot up lots of points.
Ipsos i-Say: A reputable, global survey-based market research company that gives its community members a chance to provide opinions in exchange for survey points that earn you money. Earn towards gift cards to spend at your favorite places such as Starbucks, Amazon, Target, and more. Or just trade in for cash through prepaid VISA gift cards or Pay Pal funds! Go here to see if you qualify. (Spots fill up quickly and reset each month, so if you aren’t accepted, try back around the 1st of the next month!)
I also have used Synovate Global Opinion Panels, which is now I-Say by Ipsos. They send you surveys pretty frequently and the points you accumulate can turn into actual money! You can receive an actual check from them, or choose to redeem for a gift card. I haven’t cashed out with them since they changed into the new system, just because I’ve really stopped taking the surveys because I’m lazy 🙂 Here’s the link: http://i-say.com/Rewards/RewardsProgram/tabid/203/language/en-US/Default.aspx
It’s never a good idea to write false information on your paid survey account or sign up for paid surveys that don’t match your characteristics. For example, if a paid survey is looking for a NASA aerospace engineer who is also a competitive food eater and has won the tour de France twice it isn’t a smart idea to claim to match those parameter (unless you really do). Paid survey companies often share information and if you have taken paid surveys for another company under the pretenses that you are a newly graduated software developer in Brighton, chances are that they will notice the discrepancies and you might be penalised for it. There have been a few cases of people having their paid survey account banned and all their hard earned money revoked for providing false information on a paid survey. It’s also not a good idea to register two email accounts for taking paid surveys because many paid survey panels frown upon this sort of behavior and may even ban you from taking their paid surveys.

After joining a survey site, you provide some personal and demographic information, which legitimate survey sites will keep private. That information will be used in choosing participants to take surveys on certain goods and services. If you get selected to take part in a survey, you will be notified through mail to take a short survey to see if your profile suits that survey. When you are deemed qualified, you will be requested to take a longer survey.


If you can't find any information on other sites or forums, there are some things about the website you can check for yourself. The first thing we recommend is to look for a privacy policy. Having one on the site that is easily accessible to users is a clear sign of credibility. It shows that the company is at least making some promises as to how your information will be used. Lacking a privacy policy is a clear red flag and often signifies a scam.
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